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jlambirt jlambirt (Member)

VA nurse job with Other Than Honorable Discharge

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I got an OTH discharge from the Navy after 4.5 years for possession of steroids and attempting to obstruct justice. 60 days in the brig was also part of the deal. That ended in September 2016. I've been a Psych RN on overnights since then and was quickly promoted to House Charge/Supervisor within 6 months.

I'm moving to another state next summer and would love to apply at the VA. They have psych openings, but I'm wondering if the OTH excludes me from consideration. On the other hand, there's never a lot of competition for acute psych jobs.

Anybody have any experience with this?

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That is a really good question, I hope someone else can answer for sure. I think it just means that you can't claim veterans preferance when you apply. As long as you have a nursing license in good standing and you qualify for the job, I can't see your discharge character having an impact since veteran status is not required to work at the VA. Of course, no one can say if the hiring people might have some bias. But if you don't try, you won't know! Best of luck and keep us posted!

Have you thought about possibly trying to have your discharge upgraded to a general discharge?

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I have spoken to a few lawyers and they've said there's a myth that a simple request will get your discharge upgraded. You need new evidence and a rationale for why your discharge status is incorrect. A lot guys take bad deals because they think it's easy to fix afterward.

I've actually had more trouble with VA benefits. They denied my benefits by claiming my one incident in 4.5 years of service was "willful and persistent misconduct". Oh well.

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I suggest you find something in writing as to the VA policy rather than to rely upon just calling up and asking someone on the phone. I say this because I was given misinformation regarding similar type employment and I was foolish enough to take the misinformation at face value. Prepare your application and submit it. What's the worst that can happen? You don't get hired? Well, you certainly won't get hired if you don't try. Best wishes.

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What is your RE code; that will make the difference if you can get hired or not. If its an RE-4 it will be very hard to get hired but if you do not try its a no.

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I am a VET. I don't think you will be hired but it can't hurt to try. I say this because a background check will be conducted and it will probably be found out. You have to answer questions about work performance and justify your answers.

Edited by Workitinurfava

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Many of the places that I have read online when it comes to the jobs, state that you need an honorable discharge (could be to get the points).

Yes, that is to claim veterans preference (I see you edited, so you get it). VA job descriptions themselves say nothing about requiring any sort of discharge to hold the job. I am also a vet. :)

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Yes, that is to claim veterans preference (I see you edited, so you get it). VA job descriptions themselves say nothing about requiring any sort of discharge to hold the job. I am also a vet. :)

Agreed. However, I am a veteran as well, and if I were to discover that an applicant had a less than honorable discharge, it would definitely be a consideration in my decision. Not saying that I wouldn't offer a position, but the applicant would really have to sell themself.

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It states "If you answer "yes" to any questions in the above categories, you may be protected under VEVRAA." It also states "Please note that this page provides general information. It is not intended to substitute for the actual law and regulations regarding the program described herein". That is why you need to dig deeper in regulations to find the answer in policies. A poster is just a general overview. I can not tell from your original post if you fit into one of listed categories.

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Hi jlambirt,

Has your discharge come up in interviews or background checks? I received a General discharge and wonder if that is something that will prevent me from landing an RN position. When I think logically about it I think it ultimately shouldn’t prevent me from getting g a job but when I let my mind run wild my anxiety takes over and feel nursing school was all for nothing. 

Look forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks!

 

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